The Wignalls

Edith Marguerite Wignall (nee Tate) was the granddaughter of Henry Tate, an innovative sugar refiner and successful entrepreneur, who founded the Liverpool based ‘Henry Tate and Sons’. Edith’s Grandfather and two of his sons, Alfred and Edwin, developed the business which was at the cutting edge of refining techniques and which substantially increased the yield of white sugar. In 1872 and at the forefront of commercial success, Henry Tate built a new sugar refinery in Love Lane, Liverpool. He subsequently developed the technological expertise to create his largest sugar refinery which became operational in 1878. This was based on the Thames at Silvertown. It was Edith Marguerite Tate’s father, Edwin Tate, who oversaw this area of the company in East London.

Edith’s family was extremely wealthy and upon the death of Henry Tate on 5 December 1899, the Gross Value of the Estate was just short of £1.3m.

The family were also substantial benefactors, bequeathing their entire collection of contemporary paintings to the nation, forming the nucleus of the Tate Gallery (Tate Britain).

Edith Marguerite Tate subsequently married Frederick William Wignall who held the office of DL (Deputy Lieutenant/Sutherland). They were married in 1901 in Cuckfield, Sussex. 

Edith Marguerite Wignall and Frederick William Wignall had two children, Doris May Wignall who was born in 1902 and Frederick Edwin Barton Wignall who was born in 1906.

The Wignall family moved into the newly reconstructed ‘Rookery’ (formerly ‘Bank House’) in Chester Road, Tattenhall, at the end of the first decade of the 20thcentury. They were to become influential in the village of Tattenhall.

Frederick William Wignall was appointed ‘High Sheriff’ of Cheshire in 1916. Historically the ‘High Sheriff’ was the principal law enforcement Officer in the County – since many of the responsibilities associated with this position have been transferred elsewhere, the position is now largely ceremonial.


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